Thomas Chalmers

Scottish mathematician and leader of the Free Church of Scotlandl (1780-1847)

Thomas Chalmers (17 March 178031 May 1847) was a Scottish minister, professor of theology, political economist, and a leader of both the Church of Scotland and of the Free Church of Scotland.

Do not think it is your office to heal one part of the disease, and Christ's to heal the remainder.

Quotes edit

On political economy, 1832
  • It has been said that there is nothing more uncommon than common sense.
    • Natural Theology (1836), Bk. II, Ch. III : On the Strength of the Evidences for a God in the Phenomena of Visible and External Nature, § 15; though provided without attribution of author, the saying "There is nothing more uncommon than common sense" has since become misattributed to particular people, including Frank Lloyd Wright.

Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895) edit

Quotes reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895).
  • I feel my disease, and I feel that my want of alarm and lively affecting conviction forms its most obstinate ingredient; I try to stir up the emotion, and feel myself harassed and distressed at the impotency of my own meditations. But why linger without the threshold in the face of a warm and urgent invitation? "Come unto me." Do not think it is your office to heal one part of the disease, and Christ's to heal the remainder.
    • P. 83.
  • This character wherewith we sink into the grave at death is the very character wherewith we shall reappear at the resurrection.
    • P. 180.
  • I take one decisive and immediate step, and resign my all to the sufficiency of my Saviour.
    • P. 186.
  • Christ came to give us a justifying righteousness, and He also came to make us holy — not chiefly for the purpose of evidencing here our possession of a justifying righteousness — but for the purpose of forming and fitting us for a blessed eternity.
    • P. 317.
  • The Bible is like a wide and beautiful landscape seen afar off, dim and confused; but a good telescope will bring it near, and spread out all its rocks and trees and flowers and v__ulant fields and winding rivers at one's very feet. That telescope is the Spirit's teaching.
    • P. 317.
  • I want to feel my own nothingness, I want to give myself up in absolute resignation to God, to lie prostrate and passive at His feet, with no other disposition in my heart than that of merging my will into His will, and no other language in my mouth than that of prayer for the perfecting of His strength in my weakness. I desire from the abyss of my own nothingness and vileness to cry unto God that He might cause me to do as I ought, and to be as I ought.
    • P. 331.
  • O God, impress upon me the value of time, and give regulation to all my thoughts and to all my movements.
    • P. 438.
  • O Heavenly Father, convert my religion from a name to a principle! Bring all my thoughts and movements into an habitual reference to Thee!
    • P. 497.
  • The sum and substance of the preparation needed for a coming eternity is that you believe what the Bible tells you, and do what the Bible bids you.
    • P. 497.
  • Be assured, my dear Anne, that it is only by taking our lesson from God and doing the will of God, that we can either please Him in time, or be happy with Him in eternity.
    • P. 573.
  • With the magnificence of eternity before us, let time, with all its fluctuations, dwindle into its own littleness.
    • P. 584.
  • Not till we come to a simple reliance on the blood and mediation of the Saviour, shall we know what it is either to have trust in God, or know what it is to walk before Him without fear, in righteousness and true holiness.
    • P. 602.

Discourses on the Christian Revelation viewed in connection with the Modern Astronomy together with his sermons... (1818) edit

  • The benevolence of the Gospel lies in actions
    • P. 174.
  • To be benevolent in speculation, is often to be selfish in action and in reality. The vanity and the indolence of man delude him into a thousand inconsistencies. He professes to love the name and the semblance of virtue, but the labour of exertion and of self-denial terrifies him from attempting it. The emotions of kindness are delightful to his bosom, but then they are little better than a selfish indulgence—they terminate in his own enjoyment—they are a mere refinement of luxury. His eye melts over the picture of fictitious distress, while not a tear is left for the actual starvation and misery with which he is surrounded. It is easy to indulge the imaginations of a visionary heart in going over a scene of fancied affliction, because here there is no sloth to overcome—no avaricious propensity to control—no offensive or disgusting circumstance to allay the unmingled impression of sympathy which a soft and elegant picture is calculated to awaken. It is not so easy to be benevolent in action and in reality, because here there is fatigue to undergo—there is time and money to give — there is the mortifying spectacle of vice, and folly, and ingratitude, to encounter.
    • P. 175.

Misattributed edit

  • Live for something! Do good and leave behind you a monument of virtue that the storm of time can never destroy. Write your name in kindness, love, and mercy on the hearts of the thousands you come in contact with, year by year, and you will never be forgotten. Your name, your deeds, will be as legible on the hearts you leave behind, as the stars on the brow of evening. Good deeds will shine as the stars of heaven.
    • P. 243. in Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895). This is actually a quote from The golden chain; or, The Christian graces illustrated and enforced (1855) by John Harvey
  • Every man is a missionary, now and forever, for good or for evil, whether he intends or designs it or not. He may be a blot, radiating his dark influence outward to the very circumference of society; or he may be a blessing, spreading benediction over the length and breadth of the world: but a blank he cannot be. There are no moral blanks; there are no neutral characters. We are either the sower that sows and corrupts, or the light that splendidly illuminates, and the salt that silently operates; but being dead or alive, every man speaks.
    • actually a quote from Voices of the Dead by John Cumming (1854) (p.8: The Speaking Dead)
  • The grand essentials of life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for
    • actually a quote from The Sphere and Duties of Woman: A Course of Lectures by George Washington Burnap (1848) (p.99 Lecture IV)

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